Scottsdale, Arizona - First Baptist Church of Scottsdale; Remarks by Vice President Pence During a Southwest Hispanic Leaders Roundtable Discussion in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, let me — let me welcome everyone here. And particularly, let me express my appreciation to Pastor Jim Coston of First Baptist. Thank you for the warm hospitality here at First Baptist Church.
It is great to be in Arizona. I’ll be in Tucson a little bit later today. But it’s a great privilege to be able to come here and to meet with so many leaders in the Hispanic Community here in Arizona and to have a conversation at the very outset of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Thank you all for coming. This is an exciting time in the life of the economy of Arizona and the economy of this nation.
But, as I’ll reflect in a moment, it’s also a very exciting time for the Hispanic American community. And we couldn’t be more proud of it. Allow me to bring greetings from a great champion of Hispanic Americans and someone who’s been fighting for jobs and opportunity and security for the Hispanic community and every community, President Donald Trump. We spoke this morning. I told him that I was going to see all of you, and he wanted me to convey his regards.
I’m also grateful to be joined today by two go- — counting three, actually — officials that I deeply respect: your great Governor, Doug Ducey, who was my friend since the time I was Governor of the state of Indiana. Governor, thank you for being here. Thank you for being —
GOVERNOR DUCEY: Thank you for being here.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — your great leadership in Arizona, and also for being such a great champion of the Hispanic community here in this state.
Senator Martha McSally is also a very dear friend, and we served together in the House of Representatives. She is a tenacious advocate for our armed forces and for economic growth. The policies that the President and I have been able to advance would not have been possible without Senator McSally’s strong, steadfast support during her tenure in the Congress and, now, her tenure in the United States Senate. So, thank you very much, Martha, for being here.
And also, Jovita Carranza, my great friend, the Treasurer of the United States is with us today. We’ll hear from each of these officials. But, Jovita, thank you so much for your great leadership —
TREASURER CARRANZA: Thank you for the invitation.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — for many years across this country and in this administration as our Treasurer.
It’s Hispanic Heritage Month. And it’s a time when, as a nation, we pause and we really celebrate the extraordinary contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to the life of this nation throughout our history.
But this is a particularly exciting time for Hispanic Americans, because thanks to the leadership of President Trump and our strong allies in the Congress — where we’ve cut taxes, rolled back regulation on businesses large and small; where we’ve been able to expand access to American energy — we’ve launched an energy renaissance; it’s contributing mightily to the economy of this state and this nation — our economy is booming. 6.3 million new jobs created since Election Day 2016. We’ve seen the stock market setting one record after another. That means real — real impacts for people’s pensions and 401(k)s. And it makes a real difference for working families.
But also, the number of jobs that have been created, particularly in Hispanic American communities, is exciting. I have to tell you, for us, unemployment today is at a 50-year low. But it is now — for 17 straight months, it is the lowest unemployment ever recorded for Hispanic Americans. And I can tell you personally, President Trump and I couldn’t be more proud of the entrepreneurship and ingenuity of the Hispanic American community here in Arizona and really, all over the country.
I grabbed a few statistics on my way in: Unemployment in the Hispanic American community today is under 5 percent. That’s 17 months in a row. But it had only gone under 5 percent for a single month in the last 43 years of the history of this country.
I mean, the opportunity that we’ve given every American to keep more of what you earned, for businesses to have more income, lower taxes, less red tape and regulations — it’s been — it’s been the Hispanic American community that has seized those opportunities in unique ways. And since Election Day, actually 2.4 million jobs have been created in the Hispanic American community alone.
And — and maybe, even more importantly, to some of you all here, more than a million Hispanic women have entered the workforce. And, even the New York Times acknowledged — and this a quote — “Hispanic women have emerged as the biggest job market winners in [this] economy.” And I know we’ve got some great leaders in the community who will celebrate that just as much as we do. (Laughter.)
In fact, according to a survey by Bank of America, three-quarters of Hispanic-owned small businesses expect their revenue to growth over the next year. And a majority of Hispanic-owned small businesses plan to hire more employees in the near future.
So, it’s an exciting time in our economy.
And, as we begin Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s a particularly exciting time for jobs and opportunities for Hispanic Americans, not just in a growing state like Arizona, but really all across the country. And I’m looking forward to talking with you today about how we can continue to build on that; how we can continue to create opportunities — not just for employment and economic growth, but how we can expand educational opportunities, how we can advance public safety and security in the Hispanic American community. And I’m truly grateful that you all would come out and participate in this conversation.
I’m going to turn it over to the Governor. But let me say before the cameras slip away, that, as I said, standing alongside the President when we kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month last week: The contributions of Hispanic Americans to the life and the culture of this country are incalculable. And I truly do believe that this community represents all that’s best about America — a belief in faith and freedom and hard work and the American Dream.
And I just want to commit to each and every one of you that President Trump and I are going to continue to fight for the opportunities of Hispanic Americans and every American to live the American Dream. And I thank you so much for coming out today. Okay? Thank you.
And, Governor Ducey, thank you for being here and we look forward to your remarks as well.
GOVERNOR DUCEY: Thank you. I want to say thank you to the Vice President for choosing Arizona to come out and highlight Hispanic Heritage Month. I’m very grateful for your leadership and for your friendship — our service together in the Governor’s Conference, and the real work that you and President Trump are doing on behalf of our economy and growth in our nation. And I’m happy that we can highlight it here today.
We’ve got a great group of Hispanic leaders, decision-makers, and influencers here who are going to share with us what’s happening in the community — ideas that we can bring back to the state house and to the federal government to further improve our economy.
But you are right, Mr. Vice President: Our economy is booming in the state of Arizona. We’ve added 300,000 new jobs in our state alone since 2015. Arizona can brag as one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. Maricopa County is the fastest-growing county in the country. This is three years running. And Phoenix was just named the fastest-growing city in the country. So this is not on any small basis. This is 4.8 million people. This is larger than 26 other American states.
So we want to take advantage of this and reaffirm our commitment to the Hispanic community because it has been their involvement and contribution that has been such a driver in this success. Their relentless work ethic, their unwavering belief in our American Dream — this community has been integral to what’s happening in our state.
I think Arizona is a reflection of this. The art, the literature, the music, and the food reflect the values of this community and the flourishing business community brings it to life every day. The contributions of the Hispanic community is something for everyone in Arizona to be proud of and to celebrate.
And, with 2019, came a very special milestone: the 60th anniversary of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, something that was founded by Governor Paul Fannin, who said, Mexico is our neighbor — “God made us neighbors, let us be good neighbors.” And it’s something we’re very proud of. Our relationship today is as good as it has ever been.
So I’m immensely proud of the hard work, dedication, and collaboration that it’s take — taken for six decades of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. And with an economy that continues to boom, it comes as no surprise that the Hispanic community in our state and nation continues to grow.
Just a couple, I think, key stats: In 2017, Latinos accounted for nearly one-quarter of entrepreneurs in the United States, despite being just 18 percent of the population. It shows the innovation that is so natural in this community. From 2000 to 2017, Arizona’s Hispanic population grew 42 percent. Today, it’s over 2.2 million people. And by 2022, Hispanic buying power in Arizona will surpass $57 billion.
So I want to thank you all for your commitment to Arizona and opening up opportunity in the Southwest. Arizona remains committed to working with our Hispanic community to accomplish these things that matter. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Great job. Great job, Governor.
GOVERNOR DUCEY: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. Senator?
SENATOR MCSALLY: Mr. Vice President, welcome back to Arizona.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
SENATOR MCSALLY: It’s great to have you here and it’s great to be with Governor Ducey and our leaders here representing the Hispanic community as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
It’s an absolute honor to represent the great state of Arizona in the United States Senate. And we are a very diverse state. And I have been spending my whole life fighting stereotypes — you know, making generalizations about, you know, groups of people — but the numbers certainly speak for themselves.
With the environment that we’ve been able to create — with the policies, and rolling back regulations, and cutting taxes on small businesses — we now see Hispanic-owned businesses growing at an incredible rate. You know, between 2012 and 2018, Hispanic entrepreneurs and Hispanic-owned businesses grew by 40 percent across the country, while other businesses were growing at more like 18 to 20 percent.
And I’m particularly proud to see the growing number of female Hispanic entrepreneurs. You are the job creators. You are the ones that are getting up every day and making such a difference. The men are as well, but the growing number of female Hispanic-owned businesses is just incredible —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s amazing.
SENATOR MCSALLY: — across the country and across our state.
We now — our population in Arizona is about 30 percent Hispanic and it’s going to continue to grow.
So, you are making such a difference and it’s an honor to be able to partner with all of you. And I really look forward to hearing your feedback today as we continue to work together to provide more opportunities for everybody, especially for Hispanic Arizonans.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much, Senator. Yeah.
SENATOR MCSALLY: Yes, sir.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And thanks for all your great support that —
SENATOR MCSALLY: Absolutely.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — that agenda.
And I want to recognize the Treasurer of the United States. She’s going to be traveling with me and with the Senator and the Governor down to Tucso- — Tucson, because we’re talking about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Because, for all the momentum that we have in this economy, President Trump and I are absolutely determined to call on this Congress to bring the USMCA to the floor and bring it to the floor this year. We believe it is a win for Arizona, it’s a win for America, and we’re going to be taking the case for the USMCA to Tucson a little bit later today.
And I’m personally grateful to have the Treasurer of the United States with us to help make that case.
TREASURER CARRANZA: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, Jovita Carranza, thank you so much for your leadership, but thank you being here today and helping us support an agenda that’s going to put even more momentum in this economy and more momentum in the Hispanic American community.
TREASURER CARRANZA: Well, I’d like to share with the group, and especially with you, Vice President Pence, and the Governor, for all the fine work that you’re doing and the leadership that the Senator is providing.
You know, I’m bringing it back home — you have about 6,000 SMEs that — in Arizona — that have provided about 20 billion dollars’ worth of export, which is a phenomenal number, and about $1.7 million — billion of that is in agriculture.
But you’re real strong sector is the IT sector, as well as — and when I say “IT,” it’s computers and electronics. And the other is transportation — that of heavy equipment. I believe we’re going to visit that in Tucson.
So, all that spells to one word — two words: job-growth prosperity. And so the more opportunities we have with the USMCA trade agreement — which is very beneficial, especially for low exports — low-revenue exports or value exports — less regulations and greater facilitation for trade.
And any time we facilitate any type of commerce, it means job growth — immediate job growth, efficiencies for the private sector. And all that results into greater benefit strengths for the workforce, as you know.
The other point I wanted to make is that SMEs in Arizona — over 550,000 of them — represent 94 — I should say about 99.4 percent of your businesses, which is pretty — pretty strength — pretty strong. And that represents about 45 percent of the workforce in Arizona. So you have a great state. A lot of potential here for prosperity.
And I have to reflect on one other number. The Hispanic community used to be the lowest number in any kind of reporting, and now it is the thriving number —
GOVERNOR DUCEY: Right.
TREASURER CARRANZA: — and every principal in the government has been touting the growth in the Latina entrepreneurship sector, as well as high school graduation numbers are progressing. Even school debt is — been lower. And poverty levels in the Hispanic community has improved significantly.
So, we’re driving some of these very strong numbers of prosperity in the United States, based on what the President has provided as retooling this economy for all Americans to prosper. So I thank you very much for this opportunity to share.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jovita. Thank you for your great service to the country and we’re looking very much forward to a conversation with each one of you about how we continue to build on that momentum.
But I can tell you the — I don’t think the President or I ever miss an opportunity to brag on the incredible progress in the Hispanic American community. Lowest unemployment ever recorded for Hispanic Americans — now 17 months in a row, below 5 percent. It is a tribute to communities like you all represent here — states like Arizona.
And I just want to — I just want to promise each and every one of you: We’re going to continue to fight for those opportunities. Because that businessman who became President looks at all of that progress — 6.3 million new jobs, record unemployment, 50-year low for every American — and he just calls that a good start. (Laughter.)
And so, Senator, get ready. We’re going to keep going to create even better economic conditions and better opportunities. And really — and really do so in a way that will continue to see this Hispanic American community thrive, Arizona thrive. And I thank you all for being here for the conversation.
Thank you all.